Applied Global Health Research Board Chair

Closing date
12 January 2023 4:00pm UK time
Number of positions
Length of term
2 years
Time commitment
2 days per week
Board chairs will receive an annual stipend and their employer will be remunerated in recognition of the time spent on MRC business.

Travel and subsistence expenses (including family care costs) will be reimbursed.

Interview date
End of February 2023
Outcomes communicated date
March 2023

We are looking for a chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Applied Global Health Research Board.

Candidates should have experience of leading a major research portfolio or equivalent and be proven strategic thinkers. They will have a track record of top-quality research in an area of science relevant to the research board’s remit. They should have substantial experience of conducting research in a low or middle income country.

Who we’re looking for

Person specification

Candidates should have experience of leading a major research portfolio or equivalent and be proven strategic thinkers. They will have a track record of top-quality research in an area of science relevant to the research board’s remit. They should have substantial experience of conducting research in a low or middle income country.

Nominations should demonstrate that candidates have the time, commitment, and skills to contribute across a range of MRC strategic and governance issues and have active professional networks within the academic community.

Suitable candidates should demonstrate and will be reviewed against the following:

  • a broad understanding of medical research and, in particular, global health research
  • a broad understanding of the global health research funding landscape internationally, and of the UK research funding system
  • a first-class record in conducting internationally leading-edge research with success in obtaining major grant funding over a number of years
  • a strong strategic perspective with the ability to tackle issues outside their immediate area of expertise
  • proven ability to exercise judgment across a broad spectrum of policy and research issues
  • experience of conducting peer review with a major funder of global health research
  • excellent communication skills and experience of chairing in a complex area
  • ability to work effectively within the public sector’s requirements for accountability and openness, and within financial constraints
  • commitment to MRC’s mission and broad objectives
  • ability to commit up to 2 days per week to MRC business (the post holder’s employer will be reimbursed)

What you’ll be doing

Key aspects of the role

The role includes:

  • ensuring effective delivery of MRC scientific strategy through funding decisions, in conjunction with MRC staff
  • membership of MRC Strategy Board, which is chaired by the Executive Chair and is responsible for developing and refining MRC’s overarching strategy
  • membership of the MRC Major Investments Board, which has strategic oversight of MRC’s major investments such as our units, institutes and centres
  • providing scientific oversight and direction for MRC and UK Research and Innovation strategic initiatives

There is flexibility around attendance of meetings, which will often be virtual, but sometimes preferred in-person.


Chairs are expected to commit 2 days per week to MRC business. It is essential that individuals should be able to commit the necessary time and attention to the role and have the full support of their employer and organisation in doing so.

Support and induction for successful candidates

New chairs will meet with the theme leader and key members of head office staff prior to the start of their tenure.

Board chairs report directly to the MRC Executive Chair and have a 1:1 meeting with them at least once a year.

How to apply

Proposed candidates should be nominated through their host institution or employer:

  • outlining how the candidate meets the selection criteria (see ‘How we’ll assess your application’)
  • confirming institutional support for the nomination
  • attaching a short CV (maximum of 5 pages) for the nominee

MRC values the diverse skills and experience of the members of its boards and panels and is committed to advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion for all. We particularly welcome nominations from currently under-represented groups including female and ethnic minority researchers and researchers with disabilities or long-term conditions.

Nominations should be sent to by 12 January 2023 4:00pm UK time. Please include ‘Board Chair Recruitment’ in the subject line.

Institutions should nominate 2 suitable candidates of different genders; single gender returns from institutions will not be accepted unless clear justification has been provided.

In addition to nominations from employers, MRC will consult leading experts in the field for proposed candidates.

For an informal discussion about the role, applicants are welcome to contact

How we’ll assess your application

Selection criteria

Candidates for this role will be shortlisted for interview primarily using the criteria listed in the person specification, also taking into account the balance of the overall MRC Strategy Board membership.

UK Research and Innovation holds a Bronze Inclusive Employers accreditation. Find out how we support equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Candidates selected for interview will be notified in February 2023. Interviews will be held towards the end of February and appointments will be ratified at the March 2023 meeting of Council.

Further information

Appointments to all MRC’s boards are made on merit and with independent assessment, taking account of the need to balance the board in terms of institutional and geographic experience. Individuals’ protected characteristics may also be considered where nominees who share a protected characteristic:

  • suffer a disadvantage linked to that characteristic
  • have different needs to other groups
  • have a disproportionately low level of participation

If this results in an evidenced need then MRC may take appropriate and proportionate interventions, including in final appointment decisions, such as through use of the tie break provision (Section 159 of the Equality Act). This is in accordance with our duty to advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Conflicts of interest

There are high standards of integrity expected by the public and parliament. This role requires the board chair to avoid situations in which their duties and other interests’ conflict with board business or where there could be a suspicion of conflict.

Board chairs must not:

  • misuse information gained in the course of their work for MRC for personal gain or for political purpose
  • seek to use the opportunity of public service to promote their private interests, or those of connected organisations, persons or firms

Previous experience with MRC or another major funder is a requirement. However, a research board chair cannot be a member of a review panel for a major funder (such as Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK) simultaneously.

Find out about conflicts of interests.

Privacy notice

All personal data provided to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for a MRC board chair vacancy will be processed by UKRI in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.

The information you have provided will be retained and used to manage recruitment in accordance with MRC’s retention policy.

The appointed individual’s conflicts of interest information (including name and institution) will be published on the MRC website under the MRC board and panel membership.

Further information on how we use personal data can be found in the UKRI privacy notice.

Last updated: 25 November 2022

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